NLPC to Challenge Wal-Mart for Support of ObamaCare, Cap and Trade at Annual Meeting

Wal-Mart logoI will speak in favor of our shareholder proposal that asks for a report on Wal-Mart’s lobbying priorities at the company’s annual meeting on Friday, June 4 in Fayetteville, Arkansas. It will take place in the Bud Walton Arena at the University of Arkansas from 7a.m. Central Time to about 11a.m. A live webcast of the meeting will be available on the company’s website at www.walmartstores.com/investors.

NLPC is a critic of Wal-Mart’s embrace of Left-wing political and social causes, a trend initiated by former CEO H. Lee Scott and accelerated under CEO Mike Duke.

Our statement of support for the resolution appearing in the proxy reads:

The Company’s public policy positions and related advocacy activities should be developed and prioritized based on market and fact-based analyses and not on pressure from politicians, union bosses, or anti-business activists who are hostile to Wal-Mart and its business model.

In a June 30,

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Holder Condemns Bribery But What About Sestak?

Holder/Obama photoEven as Attorney General Eric Holder has defanged the Public Integrity section of the Justice Department, and snuffed out prosecutions of members of Congress, he claimed today in Paris that “combating corruption is one of the highest priorities of the Department of Justice.”

Ironically, Holder’s remarks were delivered in support of international efforts to combat bribery. Holder bragged:

U.S. law enforcement has pursued bribe payers of all stripes: large corporations and small companies; powerful CEOs and low-level sales agents; U.S. companies and foreign issuers; citizens and foreign nationals; direct payers and intermediaries.

If Holder can go after “low-level sales agents,” surely he can see the legal and moral imperative of probing White House staff members and a former President who sought to get Rep. Joseph Sestak (D-PA) to drop his primary challenge to Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA) in return for a high administration position.

Of course, it was Sestak himself … Read More ➡

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Beyond Pathetic

BP logoIt’s revealing that the “greenest” of the big international oil companies is now responsible for one of the worst ecological disasters in history. Maybe BP should have concentrated on its core mission of efficiently and safely producing oil instead of trying to make us believe that BP stands for “Beyond Petroleum.”

Most big companies zealously guard their brand names. British Petroleum seems embarrassed by theirs. Even as the Deepwater Horizon gushes into its 42nd day, the BP website proclaims:

Our brand is summed up by the phrase ‘beyond petroleum’. BP recognises that meeting the energy challenges of today and tomorrow requires both traditional hydrocarbons and a growing range of alternatives. We are at the forefront of delivering diverse, material and real solutions to meet the world’s needs for more and secure, cleaner and affordable energy.

The ubiquitous and annoying Beyond Petroleum TV ads always feature windmills, a tiny corner of … Read More ➡

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Crony Capitalism, Carnahan Style

Tom CarnahanWind power is not economically feasible. It is only a reality because of tax breaks and government subsidies, which are often the seed corn for political favoritism and cozy dealings.

In Missouri, a company called Wind Capital Group (WCG) is more than well connected. In the photo to the right is the firm’s CEO is Tom Carnahan. His brother is Congressman Russ Carnahan (D-MO), and his sister is Robin Carnahan, the Missouri Secretary of State. His father was governor and his mother a U.S. Senator.

WCG applied for a whopping $90 million in Obama’s stimulus package. In addition, WCG has successfully sought property tax exemptions where it is putting up windmills.

According to no-lesser light than Vice-President Biden, the stimulus made the difference in allowing CEO Carnahan to proceed with a project that the free market had deemed unviable. According to Alyson E. Raletz, a columnist for the St. Joseph … Read More ➡

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Is Rangel Detached From Reality?

Rangel photoSteven T. Dennis of CQ-Roll Call interviewed former House Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel (D-NY) last week and reports:

The veteran New York Democrat still wants his Ways and Means chairmanship back, but he doesn’t want reporters to write that he’s planning to fight for it. He wants and needs the ethics committee to clear his name, but he feels it already sandbagged him with an unjustified admonishment that appears nowhere in House rules and gave him no chance to challenge the finding.

Rangel “temporarily” stepped down from his Chairmanship on March 3, the same way that Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-WV) “temporarily” resigned as ranking member on the Ethics Committee in 2006. Mollohan did not come back and neither will Rangel.

It is hard to see how the Ethics Committee can “clear his name” after it has already admonished him. And the matters being investigated now, particularly his admitted … Read More ➡

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Washington Post: Mollohan Had ‘Worst Washington Week’

Political reporter Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post has initiated a new “award,“ which, in his words, “honors, so to speak, that person, place or thing that had the most terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week.”

The judge considered the Redskins’ Albert Haynesworth, and the bureaucrats on whose watch the Gulf oil spill occurred. According to Cilliza:

But in the end, they were all in a race for second place. Rep. Alan Mollohan, a West Virginia Democrat who was defeated in Tuesday’s primary, was our runaway selection.

Mollohan had held his state’s 1st District since 1982 — you read that right — and his father had represented it for the 14 years prior to that, all the way back to 1968. Ah, dynasties. But a lingering shadow of ethics issues had weakened Mollohan’s standing, and the bitter anti-incumbent sentiment throughout the country didn’t help.

It may have been a … Read More ➡

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Congressman Mollohan Loses Democratic Primary

Mollohan photoRep. Alan Mollohan, whose finances were the subject of a four-year federal probe triggered by NLPC, was defeated yesterday in the Democratic primary in West Virginia’s first Congressional District. The 14-term Congressman was beaten 56 to 44 percent by state Senator Mike Oliverio, who made corruption the centerpiece of his campaign. Mollohan accused Oliverio of “spreading right-wing smears.”

The investigation began in February 2006 after NLPC filed a 500-page Complaint with the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia alleging that Mollohan failed to report millions in assets on his Congressional disclosure forms in order to conceal cozy financial relationships with recipients of earmarks he had arranged.

Mollohan, a member of the Appropriations Committee, earmarked as much as $500 million to nonprofit groups founded and controlled by business partners, campaign contributors and former staffers.

Our allegations were first made public in a front-page Wall Street Journal story by the late … Read More ➡

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Former Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott Belittled at Goldman Sachs Annual Meeting

Lee Scott photoAt the Goldman Sachs annual meeting on Friday, former Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott was elected to the Goldman board of directors. Several Left-wing activists rose to sing his praises. I added this comment at the end of my remarks about our shareholder proposal asking for a report on the science behind Goldman’s embrace of global warming:

Mr. Blankfein, I hope you will reach out to experts on with diverse viewpoints. Sorry to say, your new director, Lee Scott, can be of no help. He claimed that carbon dioxide causes hurricanes, something he must have picked up from Al Gore. He also took a company founded by Sam Walton, one of the greatest entrepreneurs of all time, and transformed it into a cowed giant, almost an appendage of the state, now supporting ObamaCare and cap and trade.

Lee Scott’s transformation of Wal-Mart into an instrument of the political Left is documented … Read More ➡

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Lloyd Blankfein Plays Dumb on Goldman Sachs Support for Jesse Jackson

Blankfein photoAt the Goldman Sachs annual meeting on Friday, I had an unplanned exchange with CEO Lloyd Blankfein about Goldman’s support of Jesse Jackson, who was at the meeting and kept popping up to speak. Jackson was acting adversarial toward Blankfein, even though Goldman Sachs is one of Jackson’s largest financial supporters.

In hopes of ending this charade, I asked Blankfein to clarify the relationship between Goldman and Jackson as that of donor and recipient. Blankfein said he didn’t know if Goldman supported Jackson. I challenged him by asking, “You do not know?” and “You give Jackson’s group six-figure sums and you don’t know about it?” Blankfein continued to play dumb, so I moved on to address our resolution asking for a report on the science behind Goldman’s embrace of global warming.

Of course, Blankfein is not dumb, just dishonest.

At the end of my remarks, Jackson approached me at the … Read More ➡

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Goldman Sachs Ripped on Embrace of Global Warming

Goldman Sachs logoMy remarks at Goldman Sachs annual meeting today:

I regret that management opposes our resolution asking for a report on the science behind Goldman’s public positions on global warming. In 2005, Goldman Sachs established its “Environmental Policy Framework,” which stated:

“Goldman Sachs acknowledges the scientific consensus, led by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), that climate change is a reality and that human activities are largely responsible for increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the earth’s atmosphere.”

IPCC, an organization of the United Nations, does not conduct its own scientific research but relies on the research of others, such as the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia.

In late 2009, CRU became embroiled in the “Climategate” scandal, after hacked emails and documents were placed on the internet suggesting that CRU and/or collaborating scientists elsewhere:

1)    Sought to exaggerate data supportive of global warming.

2)    Sought … Read More ➡

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